The demand for ever increasing cosmetic procedures has provoked us at Marylebone Smile Clinic to produce this page to explain our proven and repeatable workflow that satisfies the cosmetic standards of today, whilst maintaining an acceptable lifelong prognosis.
Fill our the form below for a virtual consultation with one of our expert cosmetic dentists.
What are teeth veneers?
Within dentistry, veneers are defined as a thin layer (often only 0.3mm thick) of porcelain/ceramic or composite resin fitted to the outside surface of one or more teeth to their appearance.
What are veneers made of?
There have been updates to the composition of veneers in the UK over the years. While they used to be referred to as porcelain, the vast majority of veneer teeth do not contain porcelain.
Another term for veneers that is used by dentists is ceramic. We prefer this term for the purposes of clarity. Ceramic refers to any inorganic material produced through the application of heat. This encompasses all previously known porcelains, metal-based ceramics, and the more modern synthetic materials.
We have found that Ivoclar Vivadent IPS e.max press, Denstply Sirona Celtra Press, Cendres Metaux Livento and GC Lisi are highly effective glass-based veneers and some of our preferred materials to use.
However, there are a few other reinforced ceramics and pure porcelains that we use depending on your aims and situation, such as Creation and Zirconia combined systems. The correct ceramic is selected based on aesthetics and strength. We believe that, more important than the material you choose, the skill of the dentist and ceramist is paramount and is what will have the greatest effect on the improvement of your smile.
Process for Veneers
You may start by sending us a photo of your teeth, then we will assess it for how many teeth will be worked on followed by the associated costs to expect. You will be able to ask questions to our experienced team of treatment coordinators before booking a virtual video consultation with a dentist. You can discuss the treatment in more detail here and decide if it’s right for you. If so, an in-person consultation will then be booked.
In person consultation
A consultation is our formal starting point for beginning your treatment. We start by conducting a full dental health screen that will provide us with information on your current gum and tooth health, as well as check your mouth for signs of cancer.
We will begin to plan your specific veneer teeth after taking x-rays of your mouth and constructing a 3D image for you to see how your new teeth will look. You will be able to discuss with your dentist if there are any questions you have about your veneers and if you want to make any changes before moving forward.
Before applying your veneers, we will whiten your teeth so that your natural teeth match the brightness of your new veneers.
You will need to come in for an appointment where we will reshape your teeth and fit temporary veneers to give you a feel of what your future teeth will look like. These temporary veneers will last for 2-weeks, and during this time you can get back in touch with your dentist if there are any changes that you want to make to your official veneers before they are fitted. We will not move forward with creating your veneers until we are sure that you are fully satisfied with the finished product.
After making any changes, if you require them, to your veneer teeth from your temporary ones, they are then hand-pressed in ceramic.
There are many stages of approval during this process. First, the veneers are assessed against your bite information to ensure that they will fit your mouth as planned. Then, your dentist will view the veneers and quality check them. Before they are finally applied, you will have the chance to inspect them and offer your approval if there are no further changes that need to be made.
As the last step before they are fitted to your teeth, they are disinfected and etched with chemicals that allow the veneers to bond with the bonding agent and the tooth itself. We use a high-quality bonding agent that has been used by the highest standard of dentists for over 30 years.
Recovery and maintenance
You will usually feel normal after a few days, and full healing will be complete in around 3-4 weeks. Routine dental health checks are advisable to ensure that cleaning is at an optimum and the rest of your teeth are being maintained. Ceramic veneers may be maintained as you would for natural teeth, with interdental cleaning being a favourable habit to adopt, by either using floss, interdental brushes or irrigators. Our 5-year guarantee is issued after your review appointment and is kept in date by attending a hygienist twice yearly and attending our clinic once yearly.
You would receive local anaesthesia during your appointments so you won’t feel any pain or discomfort.
Veneers do not last forever, around 10-20 years according to the latest in peer-reviewed dental research. When they begin to approach the end of their lifespan, you will need to come back in and get them replaced.
Your natural teeth may need to be reshaped again to allow the new veneers to fit onto them. We usually aim to preserve around 70-95% of each tooth, which incurs an approximate 2% risk to the nerve within the tooth becoming aggravated as a result of the procedure.
There are a number of ceramic veneer substitutes that work to provide the same benefits.
You can have composite veneers that are made from an adhesive plastic resin and are applied directly to the tooth. These are different to ceramic veneers because they are not personally hand made.
Composite veneers are easier to apply in comparison as they require less reshaping of your natural teeth and can therefore be sold at a lower cost. However, they are weaker than ceramic veneers and only last an average of 6-8 years. They also need repolishing every two years at a higher standard than normal home care.
There are also brands like Lumineer, MAC, or Snap on Smile that sell variations on veneers. They are much weaker than veneers as they do not contain multiple layers. While they may be tempting due to the price and lack of reshaping needed in comparison to ceramic veneers, their aesthetic standards are severely compromised due to the improperly shaped tooth.
CADCAM veneers are another alternative form of veneers. CADCAM stands for computer aided design/computer aided manufacturing. Constructing veneers this way by using a computer does not require the expertise of a skilled ceramist. While this may sound like a benefit, what it means in real terms is that CADCAM veneers cannot match the quality of hand-crafted ceramic veneers. However, the technology to create these veneers is improving every year so there is the potential for CADCAM veneers to become much better and more recommended in the future.
Many celebrities around the world have turned to veneers to improve the aesthetic of their smile. For example:
Cheryl Cole – possibly one of the best results from a combined approach with veneers
Tom Cruise – A combination of crowns and veneers, he is on his 3rd set now!
Anna Kendrick – she had six veneers before her rise in Hollywood
Morgan Freeman – a long history of gum disease and we’re glad he finally had it treated and then had veneers
Dental tourism is a growing industry, and many overseas providers are promoting dental treatment at large discounts. Tukey Teeth is a popular method to have full smile makeovers. Having seen several cases return from Turkey, we would urge you to exercise caution when considering dentistry abroad. We have noticed a tendency for crowns to be used instead of veneers, which pose a greater risk to the nerve of the teeth, and shortens their lifespan. We also routinely see several root canal treatments that have taken place at the time of treatment, or shortly after. Veneers should not create the need for removal of the nerve as this is a rare complication that occurs less than 2% of the time. A lack of expertise and due care during the procedure itself can cause inadvertent damage to the nerve. This is unfortunately irreversible and long-term, which is why our clinic always encourages preservation of the nerves of teeth.
The regulatory and clinical standards in many countries is far lower than with the UK, Turkey being especially easy to become a clinician. In the UK, aside from being heavily regulated, we undergo extensive training to practice at the most basic level, before considering further training in cosmetic dentistry. In addition, you are protected in the UK from neglect by the General Dental Council as well as locally from clinics such as ours who offer a guarantee on ceramic work. This protection does not exist if the treatment was sought outside the UK. This may pose a problem if there were any concerns with the treatment provided. As you will likely be a resident of the UK long-term, our advice for any medical or dental procedure is to have it performed in the country you live in. This will allow you maintain the results without complication.
Finally, whilst there are excellent dentists worldwide, the UK has always held internationally recognised teaching and research institutions, which provide dental training at some of the highest standards in existence. Dentistry is not a commodity that should be chosen based on price alone. As a highly personal service, cosmetic dentistry should be chosen based on results, safety and stability. After all it is your face, mouth and smile that is one of the most important parts of the body.
The process for applying veneers will take around 4 weeks and spread over three appointments. However, this does have the potential of taking longer depending on your personal dental health at the offset or if you have any damaged teeth that will need addressing first.
First look for a clinic that focuses on cosmetic treatments alone as
it will be much more likely that they are an expert in the field. A general dental practice may also offer cosmetic services, however, as the old saying goes, practice makes perfect – and naturally the dentists who have performed more procedures will be very consistent.
Secondly, look for before and after photos of previous patients. This will give you an idea as to how a dentists sees teeth and designs them to an individual. Please be cautioned to any clinics that do not have lots of photos of their own examples. Photography in dentistry is a benchmark of standards and all great cosmetic dentists use cameras constantly.
There are alternative brands such as Lumineer, MAC, or Snap on Smile type veneers that are variations on the classical process for veneers. Lumineer and MAC are brand names of variants of reinforced ceramic as described above. They are not layered in multiple layers, and as such they are able to be very thin, however, they usually lack a lifelike quality and natural appearance. They may be branded as ‘no preparation’ veneers, meaning no reshaping is done, allowing a theoretically reversible treatment. The reality is that in 99% of people, without some reshaping, final aesthetic results would be compromised due to the limitations in the ceramic on an improperly shaped tooth. Secondly, ceramic veneers are chemically bonded to the tooth underneath, meaning that removal of the veneer would require using a dental drill, which would inevitably affect the underlying tooth structure. Therefore, there is no truly reversible dental treatment that involved chemical bonding. This also applies to composite resin veneers.